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“Go to Kalahari. Great Staff... Waterpark Ehhh”
Review of Great Wolf Lodge

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Great Wolf Lodge
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Sandusky
Reviewed 3 March 2012

I should start this review with we've been to Kalahari twice. We decided to give Great Wolf Lodge a chance because we've never been there. Well- we'll be going back to Kalahari from now on. The staff was very nice and friendly, the rooms were clean- but you're there for the waterpark and let me tell you about it.

1. There isn't really a place to swim. A small pool that is connected to a pool that includes basketballs is the only place to swim. Its 4 feet and for little kids- lifejackets are needed. At Kalahari- they have a zero entry wave pool and an awesome outdoor pool for swimming.

2. Lazy river- BORING and small. At Kalahari- you practically go around the entire indoor waterpark and it its themed out like crazy with waterfalls, water shoots. The only waterfall here was so sad- more of a trickle.

3. The bucket water-playscape. This is bigger than the one at Kalahari- and with two slides. So GWL wins this one.

4. Water slides. Ugh- 2 slides for little kids and 2 slides for slightly bigger kids. The only big slide here (and there's only 1) is a tube ride that takes you outside and dumps you in a pool. Not very exciting. Kalahari has slides for everyone- roller coaster slides, 4-people family tube slides, toilet bowl swirl (that's what we call it) slide, and more. And- for all ages!!! Not just big slides, small ones too.

5. Infant area. Both GWL and Kalahari have a nice infant area. Kalahari has more than one slide and its bigger though.

This place is for kids 2-4 years old. After that- its a snooze. Either way- go to Kalahari, you'll be spoiled by everything- including a zoo- bigger arcade, indoor playscape, etc. Sorry GWL- you just can't compete with the big guy down the street.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank ashlyns_mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2012

Thank you for the review. I am sorry to hear that your recent trip to the lodge did not exceed your expectations. Your feedback has been noted and shared with the team

Kind Regards,
Sarah Wysong Miller

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,294 - 2,298 of 2,684 reviews

Reviewed 29 February 2012

From check-in to check-out, we felt like special guests at the Great Wolf Lodge. We arrived on a Sunday in February and stayed until Tuesday with the late check-out option. In basically three full days, we had the opportunity to do almost every activity and dining experience that Red Wolf offers.

The water park is ideal for our kids' ages, 4 and a half and 9 months. Our 4 year old had a blast and did every waterslide and other activities. Our 9 month old went in the pool in a baby bjorn for water and also a lifevest that the hotel provides at the waterpark. The staff are totally focused on the safetly of the kids, I watched them carefully and even during shift changes, they doubled up for a round and the new person took over the round. The waterpark staff is dedicated to making sure your kids don't go down anything too advanced for their size and ability. I was impressed by this. The waterpark was always clean and the pools felt safe and clean.

I realize this is not a luxury resort, so was not expecting much in the dining department. They did not wow me, but I was not disappointed, either. I thought the breakfast experience was nice and prepaid for two mornings. I like that they just bring out the hot food in platters (french toast sticks, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon and hash browns. You could go to the buffet for omelets, fresh fruit, biscuits and gravy, cereal and pastry. Our server also brought us coffee to go at the end of our meal! What a nice touch!

Other meals were average but fresh. Nice to have a full snack bar (with beer!) right inside the waterpark.

Our room was a Family Suite. It was clean and had lot of towels and loved the fridge (which was really cold unlike most hotels) and microwave. I thought the lighting in the rooms was very cozy and had a lot of options, especially when the kids were alseep we could watch TV and have some snacks and chat and they didn't wake at all.

The activities for kids are neat. The Clock Tower show was neat, I am not sure my kids understood what it was all about, but it was fun to watch. Wiley (resort mascot) came out and took pictures and hugged all the kids. They all loved it.

I noticed that the office staff (sales, marketing, etc.) was present in the hotel and were constantly helping out - someone in a suit outfit straightening out and organizing lifejackets, a nicely dressed employee wiping up a major cracker spill near the lobby. These things don't just make the resort run better, they show that the staff actually cares.

Was everything perfect? No, but our experience as a family was. I'm not going to nitpick on the water pressure of the sink or the one game in the arcade that wasn't working. The Great Wolf Lodge offers many things for a family of lots of ages to do to enjoy each other's company, which is what we went there to do.

Altogether my expectations were met and exceeded. We like the waterpark best, and spent our days there. The other things like the arcade and the show and the wolf stuffing station (like Build-A-Bear) were our favorite things. Least favorite were the restaurants, but we are food people. Nothing was bad, nothing was not-fresh, it was just average food.

Room Tip: If you want quiet, stay at the end of the rows and not on the floor where the waterpark is. We were...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank anne f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Quick one night stay at the Great Wolf. Kids enjoyed swimming for hours and hours....arrived at 5pm Friday night and swam til 9pm when the waterpark closed. Check out on Saturday was 11am, so we put our bags in our car...and back to the waterpark. You can stay all day until close. Make sure to keep your wristband on. We had a very nice room...it had 2 queen size beds, along with a pull out couch. There was a wall seperating the bed areas, so that was nice as the kids could have their own space. Our room had a balcony, although it was very cold out...so we did not go outside.

We did not eat at the hotel at all, food is very pricey. We did bring our own pop/water etc, as we had a mini fridge in the room. There are plenty of "chain" restaurants along the strip on Route 250 for eating...The room was very clean...bed nice, but pillows were definitely a little hard. The clerk at check-in was Super nice and friendly!

The waterpark has 2 hot tubs...one that you can take the kids in, and one that is for adults only. That was nice.

Overall, we were pleased with our visit, and would definitely go back. We are locals, and only live 15 miles away, but have never been there.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank preston86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2012

We got the Wold Den Suite where there is 2 bunk beds. We walked in and I took the sheets out from being tucked in the top bunk so my daughter can get in and I looked and the matress on the bunk beds have a little room inside the frame and there was candy and food wrappers and little black and white speckles of something disgusting and so much hair we all wanted to scream. So I moves the bed to the other side to check it and there was this coated dark reddish brown glob of something that looked like either vomit or something liquid dried up all over. Under the garbage next to the larger refrigeator was dried ketchup and what looked like wods of dirty paper sticking to the wall. Right above the bed there was dark brown crusty LARGE stain with brown running down the wall staines as well. And this cabin inside of the kids area was made of plastic and coated with white splatter everywhere that WAS NOT paint. it was sticky. Called them and housekeeping came up and actually was so shocked and I swear said " Oh my GOD" when she completely lifted the bed out of the bunk. I didnt see what was lleft under there but she made it clear that it didnt belong. They moved us right away in a suite. Nice but the point of driving 3 hours to this place and paying 500.00 for 2 nights was the Wolf Den Suite. This suite of theres was better but not necessarily clean either and Im not being a clean freak when I see an old toothbrush and 3 broken bar stools that you couldnt even sit on and a broken drawer. Disgusted in thinking that it was it cost us. They did handle it by giving my daughter a voucher for the arcade and taking 100.00 off the total bu=ill. With that said I will still not be back even if they refunded me the whole amount due to the fact it was so dirty. Not to mention you have to rent a locker in the waterpark with 15 dollars down and rent it for 5 dollars a day to come to find out a huge wod of gum was stuck on the front of the handle visible to clean it up by a worker if you saw it and it must have been there for a long time. So dissappointed we will stick to anywhere but here. If anyone doesnt believe me I have PICTURES TO PROVE IT, JUST ASK.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank nikki k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2012

Thank you for the review. I am sorry to hear about the issues you experienced during your stay. I am glad to hear that our housekeeping team was responsive and able to get you moved to a new suite. I will share your feedback with my team, including the Director of Housekeeping. We will use this feedback to continue to make Great Wolf Lodge a better experience for all of our guests.

Best Wishes,
Sarah Wysong Miller

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2012

We just returned from our 2 night stay at the Sandusky, Ohio GWL. I have to be honest, for the money, I was expecting better. We stayed in one of the Wolf Den rooms. The website makes it look way bigger than it actually is. (Are the beds even twin size??) It was also dirty, not at first glace but when we looked around, I was disgusted. I don't believe anyone has ever cleaned behind the bunk beds, ever! The arcade had so many games that were out of order it was unbelievable. Also, wasn't sure my kids would do the Magiquest thing but I don't even think that was offered at this location, did I miss something?? The water park area was clean enough besides the bandages that seemed to be stuck in corners everywhere. The floor in the small children's area was so rough I can see where all the bandages came from, however. My kids ended up with 10 bandages total after our trip just from simple trips and falls in that area. I understand it is like that to prevent falling but there has to be a better way that wouldn't cause so many injuries! I saw more kids than I could count bleeding in that place for the same reasons as my children. Some of the lifeguards were very nice but some were very rude. On more than one occasion making 2 of my children cry. They did make me feel safer however with how alert and watchful they all were at all times. The food was a bit over priced but, with the exception of the terribly rubbery pizza, all was very tasty. The only thing that I thought was absolutely outstanding was the staff and customer service at food areas, front desk and shops. I have never had such good service in my life! They were all so friendly and just wanted to make us, the guests, happy by going to any lengths including having the cook make something not even on the menu to make my kids happy! All-in-all the staff made it enjoyable and helped me to look past everything else I didn't like. Will we go back? Not sure at this point but not about to say never! Thanks.

Room Tip: The rooms seems smaller than they look online so beware!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Beth F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GWL_Management, General Manager at Great Wolf Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2012

Thank you for the review. We pride ourselves on customer service and I am glad to hear that you had a great experience with our staff. As for your other issues, I apologize that the rest of your stay did not exceed your expectations. Your feedback has been noted and shared with my team, we will use this to continue to make Great Wolf Lodge a better experience for all of our guests.

Kind Regards,
Sarah Wysong Miller

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Great Wolf Lodge

Address: 4600 Milan Rd, Sandusky, OH 44870-5840
Region: United States > Ohio > Sandusky
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Sandusky
Price Range: €162 - €296 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Wolf Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 271
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Great Bear Lodge Sandusky
Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky, Ohio
Great Wolf Hotel Sandusky
Great Wolf Sandusky
Great Wolf Lodge Ohio

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